The Hare and the Hedgehog Coffee Shop
“You’re moping,” Ben observed.
“I am not moping,” Alice huffed. “I just don’t want to talk about it. Or him.”
Dumping her empty espresso cup on her way out of the Hare and Hedgehog, Alice rubbed her tired eyes. Even though the In Between Inn gave out free meals, it came with a side of interrogation, leaving Alice with no choice but to get up two hours early and trudge across town for her coffee.
What kind of sims, even supernatural ones, asked for a minute-by-minute replay of a night out?
Do you want me to start with the part where I happily let him put his hands down my pants or the part where he accidentally whispered his dead wife’s name? Alice thought bitterly.
She could feel Ben angling to make a comment.
“Come on,” she declared, “Let’s go check in and see what fresh baking hell awaits us.”
“I need a place that sells easels,” Vlad demanded. “And an axe…preferably dipped in hydra blood. You know witches, don’t you?”
William coughed and nearly spit out his coffee. “What are you on about?”
“Hiring a witch, William, keep up! Caleb is off doing sages knows what. You’re my next best choice. The blood of hydra doesn’t just appear on an axe by itself.”
It was times like these that William was thankful he didn’t have a pulse to give him away. Tobias always told him that keeping secrets was still manipulation. It was not until now that William was beginning to agree. Was he helping or manipulating? Guilt had made him begin to doubt himself.
“What earthly reason could you have to for an axe dipped in hydra blood? And an easel?” William asked, stalling while he tried to get his thoughts back into some kind order. “What are you—?”
“Romance,” Vlad snapped, cutting him off. “It’s called romance.”
As Vlad disappeared in a cloud of black smoke, William leaned back in his chair and contemplated offering himself up to one of the local bands of vampire slayers.
A true death had to be better than dealing with all of this.
The Von Haunt Estate
“Folks, this week we are talking BREAD. B-R-E-A-D! It’s the best of all the weeks and we can’t wait to kick it off with you!” Rory announced. “First up, your signature dish! Something special from your own recipe store that will wow the judges and knock their socks off!”
With his brightly colored suit and arms spread wide, Alice thought Rory looked kind of like a half-plucked peacock preparing for flight. Why did he need to spell out the word bread?
Today was the real start of competition. No more practice rounds. Alice looked around at her cast mates, making note of their behaviors:
Dylan was anxiously covering his face and reciting measurements under his breath, Giancarlo was making eyes at the judge, Jimena was reviewing selfies with Rory, and Bailee was watching Deacon dig into a batch of her homemade cookies.
“You’ll have today to prep your recipes,” Summer, explained. She was the only producer who smiled. “Then we’ll meet back here tomorrow for filming. Also, please check your time slot for your confessionals! We’ll need that footage when we cut the episode together.”
Jimena was, of course, in rare form. “I love baking bread! It’s so soothing! I can’t wait to hear everyone’s recipe ideas. Alice, what stale block of carbohydrates are you planning to throw together?”
Even though Alice gave her the finger(s), she did worry.
“What’s the plan?” she hissed, once she and Ben were alone. “And don’t say magic. That shit is making me nauseous and I can’t be having cupcakes pop out of the sky on camera.”
“Good point,” Ben surmised.
“I just wish I knew someone who actually baked,” Alice complained. “Everything Contessa’s chef gave me is way too fancy to pull out this early in the game.”
“We could get a family recipe.”
Alice rolled her eyes. “I am not calling my family. Mom’s saying is “box mix or bust.”
“Well, actually, it’s: I’m the world’s foremost research scientist on momentum conservation and cloning, and I don’t have time for that so ask your father.”
Alice laughed. That was a more accurate portrayal of Valeria Martin.
“But we don’t have to get a family recipe from your family. And no one said the family member had to be alive.”